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The Life of Riley (1949)

A factory worker's family is thrown into an uproar when his teenage daughter starts to date his boss' son.

Director:

Irving Brecher

Writers:

Irving Brecher, Groucho Marx (story)
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Cast

Cast overview:
William Bendix ... Chester A. Riley
Rosemary DeCamp ... Peg Riley
James Gleason ... Gillis
Bill Goodwin ... Sidney Monahan
Beulah Bondi ... Miss Martha Bogle
Meg Randall ... Barbara 'Babs' Riley
Richard Long ... Jeff Taylor
Lanny Rees Lanny Rees ... Junior Riley
Mark Daniels ... Burt Stevenson
Ted de Corsia ... Norman
John Brown John Brown ... Digby 'Digger' ODell
Victoria Horne ... Lucy Monahan
William E. Green William E. Green ... Carl Stevenson
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Storyline

A factory worker's family is thrown into an uproar when his teenage daughter starts to date his boss' son.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

William Bendix - Hollywood's Magnificent Mug - STARRING IN "The Life of Riley" See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 April 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ei meitä huolet paina See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Brecher Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Irving Brecher was also doing the original television series. With William Bendix tied up in the movie, Jackie Gleason was starring in the television series as Riley. Only 26 episodes of that series were shot. When the series was revived several years later, William Bendix returned to the role he had performed on radio and the this movie. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Screen Writer (1950) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A signature role for William Bendix
8 January 2011 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

Too often Bendix was cast as a mental case who enjoyed smashing skulls, or his roles would take his gentle giant exterior to the extreme and he would be cast as an overgrown child as in "The Babe Ruth Story". This is the way I like to remember William Bendix - playing a family man doing the best he can in a world that tends to be a bit too much for him, with children that tend to be a bit too much for him too.

The plot here has to do with aircraft worker Riley's daughter preparing for her marriage to the son of Riley's boss. Neither loves the other. However, the son owes some gambling debts to some fellows that either want to start breaking big bills or the young man's legs. If the young man gets married he gets part of his inheritance and can pay off his debts. What's in it for Riley's daughter? The industrialist's son has told the girl that Riley is about to lose his job, but that his job would be safe if she married the boss' son. The girl therefore agrees to a marriage in name only to save dad's job.

I will tell you only this about how the plot works out. None of Riley's family has any idea that there is anything the least bit amiss in this situation until Riley sees the train tickets for the soon-to-be-married couple and discovers that his daughter and son-in-law will be honeymooning in separate compartments on the train. Riley's reaction - "Wow, when her mom and I got married all we could afford was one berth!" - and then it hits him that this lack of togetherness on one's wedding night is a sign of something more than an excess of cash on hand.

This film is a great slice of life of the new post-war American middle class of the 40's and 50's. Catch it if you can.


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